Tingewick School

This 'piece' was probably written for one of the excellent Exhibitions organised periodically by the Tingewick Historical Society - alas I can't now remember who. If anyone would care to claim authorship, I'll be delighted to give them credit!

The 'Old Sunday School', located on the corner of Main Street and Stockleys Lane used to be the village school. This old thatched building which was constructed in 1828 was later condemned in the year 1872. the Education department stated that the building was unfit for educational purposes, but it continued to be used until the new school was completed in 1875. Present-day residents in the village who area aware of the capacity of and facilities of this building have great difficulty in imagining conditions with over 100 scholars present, especially in the knowledge that there was just the Master assisted by an unqualified sewing mistress.

The school manager was Rev. Coker who lived in the Rectory in Church Lane. The school master was Thomas Bradbury who lived in Rose Cottage in Upper Street

The school was officially transferred as from December 1873 to an elected board from the manager, Rev. Coker, who was elected Chairman.

The new School cost 200 for the site and 690 to have it built. Thornborough yellow bricks are used for the facing on the north, east and west sides, and Tingewick bricks used elsewhere. The school had two rooms under one roof providing accommodation for 170 children. The larger for boys and girls ran east to west and has a small spire with a bell surmounted by a weather cock. The smaller infants room ran north towards the street. There were two playgrounds, boys in front and girls at rear.

The opening of the new school took place on March 30th 1875. Sir Harry Verney made an opening speech then formally handed the school keys to Rev. Coker and declared the school open. The schoolchildren assembled at the old schoolroom and marched down to the new school where a public tea awaited them. After tea, the band marched them to Mr Hadland's field where they had races for adults and children. Then followed dancing till the shades of night, when fire balloons were sent up. After a magic lantern show in the new Schoolroom, further dancing took place.

The schoolmaster's wife, Mrs Bradbury, died at 'The Laurels', Main Street, in March 1893, and in November the schoolmaster's daughter, Emily Bradbury, aged 11, died of diptheria.

In February 1896 the schoolmaster was taken ill in school and forced to leave. Less than three days afterwards he died. Mr W. Stanley was appointed at 90 per annum as the new Schoolmaster.


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